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Fear of being raped in Old Town Market

July 10, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Mrs Deepa Ganesh, via e-mail

I’m an 80-year-old woman. Unfortunately for me, all my children are overseas and I have to live all alone in Malaysia. I have to take care of myself by doing my own shopping. However, I’m deeply troubled when I do my weekly marketing at PJ Old Town market.

In order to get fresh vegetables and meat, most wet market goers usually go to the market at 6am in the morning. At this time, it is pitch dark. Most market frequenters park in a multistorey car park above the wet market that is manned by the MPPJ.

It is a paid car park. The trouble is, the car park is pitch dark with absolute no lighting at all. If you switch off your car lights, you cannot see anything. Once you park your car, there is a staircase to walk down to the wet market.

This staircase is also completely dark. All market goers have to blindly “feel” the walls and take baby steps making our way down from the multi-storey car park. Some of us carry torch lights to make our way to the market downstairs or when we go back to our cars.

The thing that shocks me is that the car park is managed by MBPJ and it is a paid car park.

I do not know how MBPJ can ignore the pleas of morning wet market goers and have total disregard for us. Are they waiting for a mugging, rape or murder to take place? In the light of the recent muggings in the malls, this should have been a wake up call to the MBPJ to light up the car park and staircase.

In contrast, I see the MBPJ president’s house in Jalan Tinggi, less than 1KM from the wet market of PJ Old Town, well lit with ample lights all round his mansion home. I feel totally cheated as I’m a tax payer pensioner and am one of the senior citizens who started our country from its beginnings.

I’m not asking for a red carpet to go to the wet market but merely lights in order not to feel so fearful of my safety.


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